You may not be aware of this, but when you travel to another country it can be pretty obvious to the citizens of that country that you’re from the good ol’ U.S. of A. You might also not be aware that you let them know this without even uttering a word. More than you realize, your body language does most of the talking for you.
Peace Signs – Make the mistake of turning it around to the back-side of your hand, and you’ve essentially flipped-the-bird to those in the UK, Ireland, and Australia
Hands In Pockets – Don’t do it in Asian cultures unless you want to come off as completely disrespectful and rude
Nodding – In Bulgaria, nodding means “no”, and shaking means “yes”. Awkward.
How you give a gift matters – In Japan, handing a gift with two hands and offering a slight nod shows respect
Extended gazes – An extended gaze in France is the equivalent of “swiping right” on Tinder, and in Brazil they’ll avoid it all-together in recognition of your social standing
Shaking hands is not the custom everywhere – The deeper the bow, the more the respect in Japan…shaking hands is “so American”…and then there’s the European kiss on the cheek, in some parts.
Talk to the hand – Greece, Pakistan, and Nigeria are the places not to do this unless you want an extremely uncomfortable evening.
Now, go explore confidently, world traveler.